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Ethics in Psychological Research APA Paper

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Running head: ETHICS IN PSYCHOLOGICAL RESEARCH 1 Ethics in Psychological Research University of Phoenix February 1, 2010
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Ethics in Psychological Research “Educational researchers have good intentions, but if they are not careful, their studies can place individuals in situations that involve risk” (Gall, Gall, & Borg, 1996). Data collection, and analysis, subject selection, research procedure, credibility of the researcher and the worth of the study is all ethical issues. Often researchers are the victims of poor planning or inexperience and their subjects suffer for it. This paper will define ethics, will discuss the concept of risk/benefit ratio, and it will analyze the ethical principles of research on the most vulnerable populations. Finally it will discuss the value of informed consent and its effect on psychological research. Subject selection has been an ethical concern for researchers. Proper procedure calls for subject selection to be equitable, fair, and random. It has been noted that in more than one instance this has not been the case. Researchers are ethically obligated to describe the research procedures clearly, identify any aspects of the study that may influence individual’s willingness to participate, and answer any questions participants have about the research. True informed consent cannot be obtained from certain individuals, such as the mentally impaired or emotionally disturbed, young children, and those who have limited ability to understand the nature of research and the possible risks. In these cases, however, formal informed consent must be obtained from the participants’ parents or legal guardians. Whenever possible, however, “assent,” that is, an expressed willingness to participate, should always be obtained from the participants themselves. Research studies that use human beings as subjects must adhere to a series of federal regulations that safeguard the people involved. When deciding if a given study should go forward, decision-makers must weigh the potential benefits of the study against any harm the study may cause to its subjects. This is particularly difficult in studies that feature
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